Life on the streets

Vivian Maier (1926 – 2009) was an American street photographer whose impressive body of work was discovered only towards the end of her life and immediately caused a worldwide sensation. Born in New York, she spent much of her childhood in France. After her return to the United States, Maier first worked in New York, but from 1956 she spent forty years in Chicago, working as a nanny. In her spare time, she documented life in major American cities such as New York and Chicago, without anyone close to her ever seeing the result. When Vivian Maier’s archive was discovered in Chicago in 2007 – an impressive body of work consisting of 150,000 photonegatives – the photography community discovered an immense and unique talent, equal to famous contemporaries such as Joel Sternfeld, Joel Meyerowitz, Elliot Erwitt and Garry Winogrand. Maier lived in relative obscurity until her death in 2009, but is now the subject of films and books, and is recognized as one of the great American photographers of the 20th century. In addition to photos, she made countless film and sound recordings on the street. Vivian Maier Retrospective is a one-volume compendium of her most enduring images.

Text Anne Morin, Ann Marks, Christa Blümlinger | Thames & Hudson | 9780500025703 | English | Available at MENDO Amsterdam | €56